Morphological and phonological origins of Albanian nasals and its parallels with other laws


  • Lindon Dedvukaj The Ohio State University
  • Patrick Gehringer University of Kentucky



Albanian phonology, morphology, Tosk Albanian, Gheg Albanian, Malsia Madhe Albanian, Old Gheg and Old Tosk, Proto-Albanian, Proto-Indo-European, nasal-stop clusters, homorganic nasal assimilation, apheresis, epenthetic stops, Obligatory Contour Principle


The Albanian language is traditionally divided between the Gheg dialect to the geographic north and the now Standard Tosk dialect to the geographic south. Recent literature of the historically isolated dialect of Malsia Madhe (Dedvukaj 2022) has revealed a subdialect which has not undergone the specific phonological sound changes seen in both the Standard Tosk and Modern Gheg dialects. The Tosk dialect is distinct from the dialects of Gheg and Malsia Madhe (Malsia) in that it contains homorganic nasal-stop clusters in positions where they did not occur in various Proto-Indo-European (PIE) reconstructed forms. Three historical processes and the distinct ways in which nasal-stop clusters appear in Tosk are discussed: homorganic nasal assimilation that occurred in the 16th–18th centuries, the insertion of epenthetic stops due to sonority constraints and analogical extension, and constraints on the analogy that can be attributed to the Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP), which restricts Tosk Albanian to one nasal-stop cluster within a single morpheme.

Author Biography

  • Lindon Dedvukaj, The Ohio State University
    Graduate Student of Linguistics




How to Cite

Dedvukaj, Lindon, and Patrick Gehringer. 2023. “Morphological and Phonological Origins of Albanian Nasals and Its Parallels With Other Laws”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 8 (1): 5508.